GGG#10: Tom Rogers

Episode 10 << Click to Listen


Tom Rogers, author of Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics, joins us to talk about exploding cars, battles in space, and the problem of scale in the insectoid world.

Panel Topic: Hard Science Fiction

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0:00 Introduction by

0:46 Dave and John introduce the show

Interview: Tom Rogers

02:55 Interview begins

03:11 Tom’s background and how he got interested in science

04:36 Flashing bullets, exploding cars and the website that resulted

10:15 Nuclear bombs: the solution to incoming asteroids?

11:12 The problems with blowing up alien space ships

13:30 The wheelbarrow as munitions delivery system

14:13 Do we need to worry about giant ants any time soon?

15:30 Find out which movie Tom thinks is scientifically the worst movie of all time

16:35 Don’t despair, fellow geeks—there are a few movies with reasonably good science!

18:34 The limitations of humans and cybernetic counterparts

21:01 More movies that get some things right

22:23 Tom’s opinion of the recent Star Trek movie

24:36 Feedback from movie fans

26:03 How to get better scientific realism in movies

30:33 End of interview

Dave and John talk about science in science fiction

31:36 Dave’s fall from grace: Red Shift Rendezvous by John E. Stith

37:04 Other stories that combine hard science with some necessary fudging: Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein; Larry Niven’s The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton. Discussion of telepathy and mental powers as an SF trope, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

44:02 The Kheper scale, Grading SF for Realism; also see The Moh’s Scale of Scientific Hardness

46:29 Created worlds in science fiction: Larry Niven’s Ringworld; Hex and “The Other Side of Jordan” by Allen Steele (which can be found in Federations); Iain M. Banks’s Culture series and story collection State of the Art; the work of Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space, Zima Blue and Other Stories, Deep Navigation, and Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

53:09 Dave and John have some advice for movie makers

55:37 More on the new Star Trek movie, and what’s the deal with sexy aliens? Whatever it is, John won’t judge you.

58:28 Dave and John explain the Singularity

01:00:39 Show wrap-up

Next week: Alexandre Phillippe, director of The People vs. George Lucas

Thanks for listening!

Show notes compiled by podtern Christie Yant. Friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Posted on March 8, 2010, in Episodes, Science & Fact. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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